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North Hills Monthly

Opening the Door to Updated Style

Sep 30, 2018 05:53PM ● By Jennifer Monahan

The Giel Family: Jackie, Ed (president & owner of Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors), and daughter Candice (vice-president and co-owner).

Pinterest abounds with creative—and often pricey—ideas for renovating kitchens and bathrooms. One relatively inexpensive way that homeowners can update the overall look of a home is something many people never consider—doors. 

Marcus DeAngelo, an employee of family-owned Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors in Gibsonia, said that one of the easiest ways to update the exterior of a home is to replace the garage door. For curb appeal, many homeowners opt for carriage or coachman style doors. “It makes the entire house look different without spending a lot of money,” he explained.

Inside the home, a similar effect can be achieved by replacing outdated closet and bedroom doors with updated styles. Scott Satkoske, owner of Pittsburgh Doors and Closets, said the trend is toward paneled doors with simple lines. Flat, non-paneled doors are often being replaced with two-paneled doors. Homeowners are also starting to upgrade the six-panel doors popular in the 1980s and ‘90s. 

“People want to get rid of busy lines and lots of panels,” Satkoske explained. 

The unique Pittsburgh climate, with its hot, humid summers and chilly winters, can be tough on doors—especially wooden ones. DeAngelo said that steel and aluminum garage doors are among the most popular because they are lower maintenance and offer many styles, including options that resemble a wooden door.

For interior doors, Satkoske recommends a specially treated pressed wood. While Pittsburgh Doors and Closets offers a variety of door materials, including authentic wood, he explained that the maintenance-free pressed wood options are great for climates like Pittsburgh’s because they will not crack or chip the way natural wood might.

What You Need to Know

Consumers should be sure to ask the right questions before making a purchase. DeAngelo said the most important question that people should ask themselves regarding garage doors is, ‘How much maintenance am I willing to put in?’ Wood doors require regular painting and cleaning, while owners of an aluminum or steel door can get by with cleaning only once or twice a year using a mild detergent or wax.

Security is another concern for customers purchasing a garage door, but not in the way that most people think. Most garage doors are equally safe in terms of preventing home invasion, but the issue is whether the door has a battery back-up in case of power outage. It can be an important safety feature in case of fire, DeAngelo explained, and some states are even considering writing laws to require battery back-ups for garage doors.

DeAngelo said that homeowners should also make sure to inquire about who will be doing the installation work. A company that has its own installers—rather than subcontracting the labor—should be able to guarantee its labor warranty in writing as well as offering the factory warranty for the door itself. Customers should make sure the company is reputable, well-known and insured. 

For doors within the home, consumers should consider noise levels, energy efficiency and the ease of the installation process. Homeowners have the option of upgrading to a solid core door, which helps block sound between rooms. Pittsburgh Doors and Closets also offers doors which are heavier and more energy efficient than the standard selection found in big box stores. 

While replacing closet and bedroom doors can often be a messy and time-consuming endeavor, Satkoske said the technology has advanced enough to make the process easier than most people expect. Pittsburgh Doors and Closets is part of One Day Doors and Closets, a company that utilizes a precision measuring device to capture the exact geometry of a doorway down to 1/1000 of an inch. Every door is custom milled and painted in a factory, so the mess happens far away from the home. Satkoske said the installation time to update an entire house typically takes three hours, rather than two to three weeks.

With so many styles, materials and options available, homeowners looking to update their homes might want to reconsider before ripping out sinks and cabinets. Investing in new garage or interior doors can refresh a home’s style without the mess and cost of major renovations.

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